Kings Blog

Kings still searching for consistency at shooting guard

Sacramento Kings guard Marco Belinelli (3) dribbles past Los Angeles Clippers guard Pablo Prigioni (9) in second quarter action. Sacramento Kings against the Los Angeles Clippers at Sleep Train Arena on Friday, Feb. 26, 2016 in Sacramento.
Sacramento Kings guard Marco Belinelli (3) dribbles past Los Angeles Clippers guard Pablo Prigioni (9) in second quarter action. Sacramento Kings against the Los Angeles Clippers at Sleep Train Arena on Friday, Feb. 26, 2016 in Sacramento. hamezcua@sacbee.com

The Kings tried to find stability at shooting guard even before this season began.

That’s still the case.

Ben McLemore started at shooting guard when the Kings played the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night at Sleep Train Arena.

But whether it’s been McLemore or Marco Belinelli, the Kings have been inconsistent at the position. Sacramento also tried James Anderson and regularly use two point guards, Rajon Rondo and Darren Collison, to maximize the playing time from the position.

“I think all of them at times have had good opportunities and good moments,” said Kings coach George Karl. “I would think my worry is we haven’t had a consistent confidence at that position.”

The Kings tried to address shooting guard in the offseason by recruiting free agent Wesley Matthews.

Matthews instead opted for what he saw as a more stable situation and signed with the Dallas Mavericks.

That left the Kings to rely on McLemore, who is in his third season, and Belinelli, a free agent from San Antonio.

McLemore’s playing time has decreased this season to a career-low 20.8 minutes per game entering Friday, even though his three-point shooting has improved to 36.2 percent, a career best. McLemore’s 7.6 points per game are also a career-worst.

Belinelli, in his ninth seasons, is on pace for career lows in shooting from the field (38.1 percent) and three-point range (29.8 percent) while averaging 10.7 points.

Defense from the position has been a problem all season, too.

The Kings did explore ways to improve the position before last week’s trading deadline and considered dealing for Cleveland guard Iman Shumpert.

New point –The Kings were without starting point guard Rajon Rondo on Friday night because of right thumb tendinitis. He is day-to-day.

Rondo first complained of thumb pain after Wednesday’s loss to San Antonio. The Kings said the thumb has bothered Rondo for the last two to three weeks.

Darren Collison started for Rondo, and Seth Curry was the backup point guard.

Trade deadline winner – Karl remains impressed that the Clippers were able to acquire forward Jeff Green from Memphis just before the trade deadline for seldom-used guard Lance Stephenson and a future first-round draft pick.

Green started Friday for Paul Pierce, who was not with the team for personal reasons.

“That was the only trade at the trade deadline that I said, “What the (heck) – how did that happen?’ ” Karl said. “That was a wow pickup, I thought. I thought the Clippers hit a home run on that one.”

Jason Jones: @mr_jasonjones, read more about the team at sacbee.com/kings.

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